City should purchase Brady Trucking land

City Clerk Stephanie Tuin’s decision Friday makes it unlikely voters will have the option in April to overturn the controversial industrial zoning for Brady Trucking.

Even so, there will be continuing hard feelings about the dispute along the riverfront. And that’s too bad, because we don’t see black-hatted villains in any of this.

Since Brady Trucking bought the property along the Colorado River just east of 12th Street, it
has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars cleaning it up.

The Utah company also relied on existing county and city documents to expect industrial zoning would be allowed on that property. It followed city procedures in good faith to obtain that zoning, and won the approval of the City Council.

But citizens who petitioned to overturn the zoning also followed city rules that allow them to do so. Tuin’s decision late Friday didn’t revoke that legal right to petition on zoning issues. It just determined that a number of signatures were invalid because the woman who notarized some of the petitions also signed the petition and has a personal stake in the issue. As a result, Tuin determined there were no longer enough valid signatures to place the measure on the ballot. Unless a court case is filed and a judge overrules Tuin, the issue won’t go to voters in April.

But the dispute about Brady Trucking will remain

As we have said before, we don’t think the industrial zoning is appropriate for that portion of the riverfront. But, just because we and a good many Grand Junction citizens object to the zoning doesn’t mean the city can simply reverse it and drastically reduce the value of the property Brady owns. We believe the best way to resolve the problem is for the city to buy the property, with the expectation of reselling it later under more appropriate zoning.

How much will that cost? We’re not sure, but Brady has already said an offer last year for $2.50 a square foot on the 13 acres — roughly $1.4 million — wouldn’t cover what the company has invested in the purchase and cleanup of the land.

Time for some serious negotiating.


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